Palazzo del Quirinale 30/10/2021

A Toast by President Sergio Mattarella on the occasion of the dinner in honor of the Heads of State and Government and other dignitaries attending the G20 Summit

Your Majesties, Royal Highness,

Ladies and Gentlemen Heads of State and Government,

Representatives of International Organizations,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to begin by extending my warmestwelcome to you all and thank you for the collaboration and support provided by the Governments and Organizations you represent to the Italian G20 Presidency.

The Italian Republic has embraced this task with a sense of responsibility and is aware of the increasingly multifaceted international context, which includes the additional burden of the pandemic.

We are faced with several urgent situations.

Answers cannot be delayed.

The pandemic has made it tragically clear that no one-regardless of their economic might- can singlehandedly deal with issues that affect the broader human condition.

Multilateralism and cooperation are the only concrete and effective answers to the difficulties and tensions that are spreading throughout the globe.

This is a simple statement of fact and not an abstract statement of principle.

Since the end of World War II, peace has been achieved thanks to multilateralism.

In international relations, a methodology has progressively emerged that has shaped consensus on a wide range of issues that are essential to the survival and progress of all humankind. The establishment of international bodies has been its tangible manifestation, beginning with the San Francisco Charter of 1945.

In recent years, however, the spirit that had animatedtimes of great confidence has faded.

This has led to a weakening of global governance which relies on an order that is based primarily on respect for international law and a more solid rule of law.

The harsh results are there for all to see.

This drift must be countered with a new cycle ofdialogue and trust!

Faced with the challenges of our time and of the world of tomorrowwhich will likely be ever greater – we must find time and ways to respond to the powerful factors of change and instability that we see growing before our eyes and whose consequences affect so many peoples and countries.

We cannot escape our responsibility to provide answers.

We owe it to the desire for a fairer and better world that is expressed first and foremost by our own fellow citizens.

We owe it even more to our younger generations, forwhom a future must be assured.

During this year in which the Italian Republic has heldthe Presidency of the G20, our countries have worked on rebuilding the socio-economic fabric that the pandemic risked tearing apart.

We have been committed to making our societies stronger, more cohesive and more supportive. We have worked together at a global level to offer support to the international community, to less favored countries, in the face of a new common enemy: the pandemic.

This is a rebuilding effort that must continue!

It is a new beginning that can inspire us to engage inmore intense collaboration.

Italy has defined three major directions for its G20 Presidency: people, planet, prosperity.

People and their lives must be at the center of our concerns. These concerns are priority issues like the fight against poverty and the reduction and ultimate closure of the gap between the North and the South of the world, food security and the sustainability of food systems, health and education.

The climate change emergency looms over everythingelse. We have worked to keep our ambitions high in order to provide adequate responses. We are also cognizant of how the need to address and solve issues of great importance impacts current efforts, such as the reform of the international trade system and the digital transition.

During this year, the dire emergency situation in Afghanistan has been and still is a challenge that cannot be postponed. Therefore, a proposal was putforward to make the G20 a coordination forum to support the necessary work of the United Nations andavert the risk of a humanitarian catastrophe.

Distinguished guests,

In addressing the issues that characterized the G20 Presidency, Italy has decided to reach out to various representatives of civil society and, in particular, young people.

We owe a debt to them.

We must not hand over to future generations a planet plagued by conflicts, whose resources have been squandered, whose ecosystem has been compromised by the selfishness of people who have been unable to reconcile legitimate aspirations to economic and social growth with the need to protect something that does not belong to us. Because we too have received it from past generations.

We are the ones who need to change course to overcome these challenges.

The time is now.

The eyes of billions of people, of entire peoples, are upon us and the results we will be able to achieve.

I trust that our countries will respond to the appeal that comes from global public opinion. We will be up to this task if we can find the way of collaboration once again and the sense of responsibility that today'sgrowing interdependence between peoples and nations demands.

Distinguished guests,

With this hope, I express to you all my most fervent wishes of fruitful work.